Heat Wave Conditions Could Be Worse

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The recent heat wave has thousands of your neighbors struggling to get some relief, though it could be much worse.

On the other side of the Sierra, unrelenting triple digits are being blamed for more than two dozen deaths, and a power-gird emergency. Is Northern Nevada's energy outlook in any better shape?

News Channel 8 checked in with Sierra Pacific to see if we risk overloading our system, like our neighbors in California.

As Nevadans continue to power through the triple-digit heat, Sierra Pacific says unless we experience a major problem with a transmission line or a generation station, we're in good shape.

Officials say we have enough generation and purchase power to meet our needs.

Power usage numbers are climbing, but they haven't hit this summer's peak, which was set last week. In spite of that, Sierra Pacific still urges customers not to go overboard. They recommend setting thermostats at 78 degrees, avoiding using appliances during the hottest hours of the day. They advise to conserve power when and where you can, not just for a specific reason, to be efficient and keep power bills down.

Over in California, it's a very different story. Nineteen days of triple-digit heat and power losses are blamed for 29 deaths. A nursing home in Stockton lost power and quickly heated to 115 degrees. One resident died, the others were evacuated. Further south in LA, tens of thousands are without power. Some hardware retailers are selling as many fans and air conditioners in two weeks as they do in a normal season.

California's problem isn't blamed on a lack of supply, but on transformers that are overworked and overheated as bigger homes and more gadgets demand more wattage. The state is hoping the Stage 2 Emergency, which calls for businesses to reduce their power usage in exchange for lower rates, will help them avoid rolling blackouts. It's the same story on the opposite coast, where thousands of New Yorkers living in Queens are going into their second week with no power.